Close this search box.

Kicking off the 2015 season with Targa NZ Rally Sprint

5 March, 2015

The 2015 Metalman Targa NZ Rally Sprint is fast approaching, taking place on Sunday, March 8 at Ardmore Airport. The season-opening, one-day sprint event in the South Auckland/Franklin area is now a key part of the Targa calendar, and provides a good warm up for May’s three-day Targa Bambina, held in the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty. The Targa Bambina is the second of the Targa calendar’s three events, the third of which is the six-day Targa New Zealand — this year running from Auckland to the lower North Island, in late October.

The opening Targa NZ Rally Sprint is a popular part of the Targa schedule, not only because it’s a great warm up for Targa regulars, but also provides the ideal opportunity for interested racers to try the Targa experience for themselves, and see what it’s all about.

“The roads are typical Targa roads, nice and twisty and not too fast or slow, and competitors have the option of competing against the clock to see who is the quickest, or using it as either a test-and-tuning day to dial in their cars and driver/co-driver combinations,” says Peter Martin, Targa NZ event director. For spectators, good viewing opportunities of the cars can be found at the event’s home base of Ardmore Airport, or off Creightons Road, Ardmore. The road closures on Monument Road and Ardmore Quarry Road take place from 9.30am with roads remaining closed until the end of the event at 3pm.

Taipan – surpassing interest

“It’s merely a passing interest,” insists Selby — despite owning three variants of the classic VW Beetle, including an unusual VW van that was sold as a body kit for a Subaru. In his defence he points to a 1961 Ford Thunderbird, a car that he converted to right-hand drive. However, on the VW side of the ledger, since he opened Allison Autos in Whanganui 27 years ago, Selby has built 15 VW-powered Formula First cars, followed by a beach buggy, restored a derelict Karmann Ghia, and hot-rodded a common or garden Beetle into something that has to be seen to be believed. As speed is not something generally associated with classic VWs, though, Selby is still waiting for this particular modification to catch on amongst the hot rod faithful.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.